Once again, the so-called developed countries are working against all others – and against their own interests.
Once again, Obama has disappointed those who set their hopes on him (foolishly so).
With a situation as grave and dire as climate change, with scientists saying – again and again – this is our last chance, if we even have that chance, with clear reports of change already upon us, still – a few countries are adamant to play dumb with the lives of us all.
“The secret draft climate agreement [from Copenhagen] leaked to The Guardian newspaper yesterday sets unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050. This means that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much as those in poor countries. The document also proposes a $10 billion a year fund to help developing nations cut emissions and tackle the effects of climate change. But the fund is far smaller than what many delegates say is necessary to effectively combat the effects of climate change in the most vulnerable nations.”
From that Amy Goodman interview:
ANJALI KAMAT: Martin, can you talk about some of the numbers in the Danish text, the text produced by the circle of commitment? They talk about $10 billion to be invested in this.
MARTIN KHOR: Ten billion dollars for developing countries to take all these actions to prevent climate change and to tackle the effects of climate change is too miniscule, you know? The United Nations recently—
AMY GOODMAN: That’s ten billion a year?
MARTIN KHOR: Ten billion a year, but the UN estimated that we require at least $500 to $600 billion a year. And a new study in London shows that you need at least $500 billion a year. In fact, in my estimation, we need at least two percent of the GNP of the rich countries, and that’s about $800 billion a year.
AMY GOODMAN: What does it pay for?
MARTIN KHOR: You see, you have to allow the developing countries to continue their economic growth and, at the same time, to reduce their emissions. The only way in which they can do this is if we have massive transfers of finance and technology, you know, not for luxuries, but simply to get food production and housing and, you know, to build the seawalls and so on. If this amount of money does not come, then the developing countries are sunk or fried by climate change, and they won’t be able to take their own actions in terms of changing their technology in transportation, in energy, in industry, and so on.
NAOMI KLEIN: I think one of the things that’s so important about this is that everybody has—we all have a vested interest in this. It’s not—first of all, it’s not charity. It is based on the principle that the polluter pays, that the rich world created the climate crisis. So it isn’t a handout. But in addition to it not being a handout, as Martin says, everybody in the world has an interest in helping the developing world to leapfrog over fossil fuels and develop using cleaner, but more expensive technologies, more expensive upfront, because the technologies are expensive at the start. Eventually they actually become cheaper than fossil fuels, but there is a heavy upfront cost. And that’s what these numbers would be covering, in part.